Nurse Overdosed NICU patient

  1. I'm a nursing student with one semester to go and recently a fellow student gave birth to a full-term baby with a deep vein thrombosis in his left arm. The NICU nurse whose care he was under accidentally administered medication meant to dislodge the clot TWICE (meaning she gave it to him on schedule, didn't note it properly and gave him a second dose half an hour later (dosing is supposed to be spaced 8 hours apart)).

    Later that day the clot dislodged and the doctor is saying that it was her mistake that actually caused the clot to dislodge, otherwise it may have been unlikely and/or taken much longer.

    I'm wondering what kind of situation this is job-wise when a nurse gives the wrong dose of medication. Is this typically a suspension thing or a firable offense? Does this happen infrequently? Could the hospital be held liable even though there was no damages?
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    About Alimacoo

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 1


  3. by   itsnowornever
    No damage probably won't lead to firing. From what I've seen errors lead to system correction- ie:scanner implementation which would have helped prevent this. Glad the baby is ok though

    Posting from my phone, ease forgive my fat thumbs!
  4. by   AnonRNC
    For any sort of malpractice judgement to be awarded, there must have been harm, so there is no legal issue in the situation you describe.

    Regarding discipline of an employee: policies vary among facilities. One med error is not usually grounds for termination. A good facility will look at two things: was the system set up in such a way that it perpetuated the error? is there a pattern of problems with this nurse?
  5. by   xoemmylouox
    What would be the purpose of the lawsuit? No damage was done. No one is flawless either, everyone makes mistakes. I'm glad the baby is fine. How did you learn about this "incident" that happened?